Domenic Moore, 27, has completed a gruelling 74-day journey from Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station to Brisbane’s South Bank, racking up daily steps that would put your 10,000 to shame.
“One morning I just woke up … and I just had this dream of walking from Melbourne to Brisbane,” Domenic told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“And as soon as I stood up I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that’.
Six weeks later, on November 26, Domenic was off and running, armed with only a backpack of supplies.
“The whole challenge for me was to do this unsupported.”
And just to add to the already mammoth task, he decided to do so barefoot.
Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking out this post on “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” called “Kindness of strangers helps man complete gruelling 74-day charity trek from Melbourne to Brisbane”. This post was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our QLD holiday news services.
In a stunning display of enthusiasm, more than 9.6m Texans have voted ahead of election day, surpassing the total number of votes cast four years ago.
What that means for the races up and down the ballot is “the million dollar question”, says Emily M Farris, an associate professor of political science at Texas Christian University.
“We just don’t really know,” she says.
In what has been a reliably red state with low voter participation, 30.4% of this year’s ballots have been cast by voters who didn’t participate in 2016 at all, according to Tom Bonier, chief executive of political data firm TargetSmart. Turnout has surged especially among Asian, college-educated white and young Texans.
“You can definitively say now, more voters under the age of 30 have voted already in Texas than have ever voted in any election, and that’s remarkable,” Bonier says.
Nearly 4.2m Texans who voted early do not have a history of voting in either party’s primary election, Republican consultant Derek Ryan wrote in a report on Friday. Around 1.7m live in Republican-dominated precincts, while 1.2m are from areas that typically swing Democratic.
Ryan expects more than 12m Texans to vote when all is said and done, which would amount to a double-digit spike in turnout from 2016.
“Clearly people are interested, and they’re motivated with this election,” says Juan Carlos Huerta, a professor of political science at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.
“Texas is a tough state to vote in,” Huerta says. “And, you know, there’s plenty of folks who would say ‘Oh, that’s by design,’ because it’s designed to discourage participation.”
Donald Trump is still slightly favored to win Texas – a state he took by nine points in 2016 – though polls showing a close race have ignited a firestorm of speculation about whether this is the year the state actually turns blue.
“We feel good with where we’re at, but we need to keep on going, and you know, we’re not there yet,” says Abhi Rahman, communications director for the Texas Democratic party.
On top of the battle for the White House, Texas is home to a key Senate race, as air force veteran MJ Hegar tries to unseat Republican John Cornyn. But Cornyn is still favored to win re-election, and despite a more competitive race than many would have predicted back in March, “it would be a surprise” if Hegar prevailed, Farris says.
“Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat, you know, statewide in more than two decades now,” she says. “And so that kind of shift in Texas would be a pretty big change.”
As India reels from the effects of a nationwide lockdown, here are three heartwarming stories of people going the extra mile to help someone out, or cheer them up.
“You’ve made my day!”
India has been in lockdown since 25 March. Many people are stuck at home alone, leaving the elderly especially feeling lonely and cut-off from family and friends.
So Karan Puri, an elderly resident of Panchkula, a town in the northern state of Haryana, was in for a pleasant surprise when the police came knocking at his door recently.
In a video that has since been shared widely, Mr Puri can be seen striding towards the gate, saying, “I am Karan Puri, I live alone and I am a senior citizen.”
But what happens next leaves him stumped. “Happy birthday to you!” As the police officers sing, Mr Puri doubles over in surprise, asking them how they know. He says his children are away and he starts to tear up.
The police tell him there is no need to feel lonely because they are like his family too, before producing a birthday hat and a cake, which Mr Puri then cuts while the officers resume singing.
“Thank you!” he tells them at one point. “You’ve made my day.”
A meal for two
Doctors in India, like elsewhere, are on the front lines fighting the pandemic, and they are often working around the clock.
“The anxiety and stress levels at work are immense,” said Kaushik Barua, a 30-year-old critical care resident at a private hospital in the Indian capital, Delhi.
Mr Barua spoke to the Humans of Delhi blog, which was inspired by Humans of New York.
“But through this tough journey, I have had the help of one truly kind soul,” he said.
His landlord, Rohit Suri, has been cooking him meals every day, so he has a plate of hot food waiting for him when he returns home, exhausted, from work.
The two men have become good friends, as Mr Suri also lives alone.
“I’m glad I could capture our moment of camaraderie this morning,” says Dr Barua of the selfie that has made it to the popular blog. And, as you can see, they are social distancing in this “Vitamin D selfie”, as Mr Barua and Mr Suri refer to it.
Dr Barua says he feels especially lucky and grateful because one of his friends, who is also a doctor, was asked by her landlord to vacate her home. Several doctors and nurses in India have complained of this, saying landlords and neighbours were afraid of contracting the virus from them.
“Mr Suri has been a remarkable human being, the kind that the world needs in such times,” Mr Barua said.
Not only would Vatsal Sharma have to celebrate his 15th birthday during the lockdown, but he would have to do it without his father around. He had gone to the US on work, and wasn’t able to return in time when India suspended all incoming flights.
So Mr Sharma was surprised and touched that his father still managed to send him a birthday cake – through the police!
His father wrote to the local police, asking if they could wish his son a happy birthday on his behalf, so they turned up at the house, cake in hand, to do just that.
And Mr Sharma found himself cutting a cake on the bonnet of a police car, while the officers clapped and the happy birthday song blared from the car’s stereo.
In the video tweeted by the police, Mr Sharma said, “This year the police made my birthday special. I loved it!”